Doctors & patients are saying about ''...

" is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


Reassuring: No Deaths from Vitamin Supplements. Absolutely None.

During my resent research, I found this press release and report about the safety of minerals and vitamin supplements.

31 Years of Supplement Safety Once Again Confirmed by America’s Largest Database

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Jan 14, 2015) There were no deaths whatsoever from vitamins in the year 2013. The 31st annual report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins. And, there were no deaths whatsoever from vitamin A, niacin, vitamin B-6, any other B-vitamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, or any vitamin at all.

Zero deaths from vitamins. Want to bet this will never be on the evening news?

Prescription Meds Don’t Fare So Well

I wish prescription medications could claim the same excellent safety record as vitamins. Alas, in an average year, there are at least 106,000 deaths and over 450,000 adverse events reported due to prescription drugs

References for this article
Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, McMillan N, Ford M. 2013 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 31st Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2014), 52, p 1032-1283. Free full text download at ISSN: 1556-3650 print / 1556-9519 online. DOI: 10.3109/15563650.2014.987397.

Saul, A. W. No Deaths from Vitamins. Absolutely None. 31 Years of Supplement Safety Once Again Confirmed by America’s Largest Database. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 14, 2015 Accessed August 7, 2015, URL:

FAQs Minerals & Supplements: Chelate – What does it mean?

FAQs Minerals & Supplements: Chelated

“What does ‘chelate’ or ‘chelated formulas’ mean when talking about vitamin and minerals? Is it important?”

“Chelated” minerals are among the mineral supplements touted for their improved absorption. The word, chelate (pronounced: key late) means to create a ring-like complex, or in loose terms ‘to grab and bond to’.

Most clelated formulas use protein molecules, i.e. chains of amino acids. The human body is very efficient at absorbing individual amino acids. (Amino acids are not the only “chelators” available, but they are ideal for minerals.)

For instance, the amino acid glycine is readily absorbed across the intestinal wall. When the glycine “grabs” and bonds with a Magnesium molecule, you’ve got Magnesium Glycinate. The idea is that the chelated Magnesium doesn’t break down in the digestive process. Instead it is easily absorbed, because it gets carried to your cells bound to the amino acid.

Don’t confuse with “Chelation Therapy”—treatment for removing heavy metals (including mercury) from the blood. 

Are Chelated Minerals Better for Absorption?

In the nutritional supplement industry, many claims are made for the superior absorption of certain, sometimes proprietary, mineral formulations. Drug stores and supermarkets, for example, sell chelated calcium and iron pills that are advertised to be absorbed better than cheaper non-chelated minerals.

[The foremost proponent of the superiority of true mineral amino acid chelates, is Albion Laboratories of Clearfield, Utah, which develops, patents, and markets these chelates as ingredients for dietary supplements and fortified foods.]

But according to a post, Find a Vitamin or Supplement: Chelated Minerals:

“Promoters sometimes market chelated minerals as dietary supplements that are superior to other mineral supplements, claiming chelated minerals are used more easily by the body (more bioavailable) than non-chelated minerals. But there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, there is very little scientific information about chelated minerals.”

Sports medicine doctor and fitness guru, Dr. Gabe Mirkin agrees.

“You can get all the minerals that you need from a varied diet, but if you want to take extra minerals, Chelated minerals offer no advantage over non-chelated ones.”

In this post entitled, Chelated Minerals Not Better, Dr. Mirkin goes on to explain that once a non-chelated mineral is in your intestines, it naturally will chelate or bind to parts of food—in fact, to almost everything that you eat, such as organic acids like citric acid in fruits, sugars like those found in milk, and amino acids like those found in any protein source that you eat.

What’s in Your Stomach Determines Mineral Absorption

Mineral absorption depends on what is in your stomach and intestines when you eat the mineral. One mineral can affect the absorption of another (in a good way, or a bad way). For example:

•  Fat increases and fiber decreases mineral absorption.
•  Vitamin C will significantly increase the absorption of iron from plant foods.
•  Taking calcium with iron together reduces absorption of both minerals.
•  Taking large amounts of zinc markedly inhibits copper absorption.

Chelation or lack of chelation is insignificant compared to the variable conditions in your digestive system, according to Dr. Mirkin.

References for this Article
•Find a Vitamin or Supplement: Chelated Minerals. website. Last accessed Dec 10 2014. URL:

•Mirkin, G. Chelated Minerals Not Better. Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Health, Fitness and Nutrition. June 01, 2013/Checked Nov 2 2014; Last accessed Dec 10 2014. URL:

Return to: FAQ Minerals & Supplements
Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018

FAQ Minerals & Supplements: Reliable, Unbiased Research Sources

FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Reliable Research

“Where can I find reliable, unbiased research and information on specific vitamins and supplements? (I want an independent resource, not some site trying to sell me their products.)”

We agree that the most reliable information is from unbiased sites—often the best are non-commercial sites.

We’ve looked at many, many informational directories. In order to sort out the lightweights, we searched each for information on the same supplement, ‘Nattokinase’ (an enzyme produced from Japanese soybeans with properties to break down fibrin which is what forms blood clots).

As we suspected, many directories had no entry for Nattokinase at all, so they were easy to eliminate.

Our Favorite Independent Resources on Vitamins and Supplements

Three searchable databases rose to the top of the list. In order of preference, here are our favorites:

1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute/Integrative Medicine: “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products”
2. ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional database’
3. The ‘Dietary Supplement Label Database’ at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

No Sales Pitch Just Information

None of the three sell supplements (or anything else). They just offer information on vitamins, herbs, natural products and supplements. In our review of each database, we’ve included a screen shot and a link to our ‘Nattokinase’ test search result.

1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/Integrative Medicine

Memorial Sloan Kettering/Integrative Medicine

Memorial Sloan Kettering: ‘Search for Herbs’

The extensive database covering vitamins and supplements is listed under “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products“.

Note: Memorial Sloan Kettering is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, and integrates effective non-pharmacologic therapies into mainstream patient care.

Example: click to see listing for ‘Nattokinase

How to Search: Go to ‘Search About Herbs‘ (we found vitamins and minerals, too.) After first agreeing to the disclaimer, the gatekeeper opens to the top level of the directory organized by letters of the alphabet. Click on the initial letter of your search word, then select from the listed terms.

Each entry has two tabs: information targeted for consumers or for healthcare professionals; Included is a clinical summary, food sources, purported uses, mechanism of action, warnings, contraindications, adverse reactions, herb-drug interactions, literature summary and references.

2. The ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional Database 'MedFacts Natural Products' ‘MedFacts Natural Products’

The ‘MedFacts Natural Products Professional database‘ is located at, a comprehensive website with information on traditional and/or conventional uses of natural products.

Note: is NOT an online pharmacy. It’s aim is to be the Internet’s most trusted resource for drug and related health information.

Example: click to see listing for ‘Nattokinase‘.

How to Search:  Go to Natural Products; from the horizontal menu, click on the ‘Health Professionals tab, then select ‘Natural Products Database’ and enter your search word. (Skip over the ‘Drugs A-Z’ tab; it lists only prescription meds). A few of the items include a clinical summary, food sources, uses, warnings, adverse reactions, literature review and references.

You can also use the Search box in the page header to bring up articles and discussions containing your search word.

3. Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD), US National Institutes of Health

Dietary Supplement Label Database - Doctor's Best Nattokinase

Dietary Supplement Label Database – NIH

To find all the label info, dietary facts, and dosage for a specific brand and product, we like the ‘Dietary Supplement Label Database. The DSLD includes the full label information from all of the dietary supplement products marketed in the U.S. Here you can look up a product by Brand Name and read the dosage information.

Note: the DSLD is a joint project of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Example: click to see the ‘Dietary Ingredient Listing’ for “Doctors Best Nattokinase’

How to Search:  Start on the DSLF Index home page; to find information on a specific brand and product, click on ‘Browse Products‘. Enter the Brand name in the search field, then scroll through the results to find the product your want.

There are several other types of searches listed on the Index home page, so explore.

Keep in Mind: The Supplements Industry is Not Regulated

In the US, supplements are not regulated by the FDA (or any other government agency). Quality and potency will vary. So, it’s up to you to find reliable, unbiased information to evaluate the vitamins, minerals, herbs or supplements and to select reliable brands and products.

You may also be interested in Steve’s article, Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.

Remember: Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you add any of these dietary supplements to your heart health plan.

If you find other useful resources, send us an email and we’ll share them with our readers.

Return to: FAQ Minerals & Supplements
Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018


FAQs: Mineral Deficiencies & Supplements for a Healthy Heart

FAQs: Mineral Deficiencies & Supplements for a Healthy Heart

A-Fib patients often look for non-drug approaches to ease or prevent the symptoms of their Atrial Fibrillation. Here we share answers to the most often asked questions about minerals deficiencies and the use of supplements.

1. Dementia: “I’m scared of getting dementia. Can the right minerals help? I’ve read about the link with A-Fib. What does research reveal about this risk?”

2. Vitamin D: “How can I tell if I’m lacking in Vitamin D? I’m concerned because Vitamin D deficiency has been tied to both A-Fib and Dementia. What is a normal level of Vitamin D?

3. PVCs and PACs: “I have annoying PVCs and PACs with my A-Fib. Are there natural remedies to reduce these extra beats and palpitations? My doctor says to ignore them.”

4. Nutritional Info: I tried to talk with my doctor about magnesium and other nutritional supplements. His response was ‘There’s no proof that they work.’ Why are doctors so opposed to nutrition as a way of helping A-Fib.

Related Question:What’s the best way to take supplements—at the same time each day or spread throughout the day? In one lot or in divided doses?”

Related Question:Where can I find reliable, unbiased research and information on specific vitamins and supplements? (I want an independent resource, not some site trying to sell me their products.)”

5. BCAA+G: “The supplement BCAA+G helps builds muscle. Is it a natural remedy that could help my A-Fib? Are A-Fib patients BCAA-deficient?”

6. Iron levels: “I’m anemic. Is too little iron in the blood (anemia) a cause of Atrial Fibrillation? Any advice on how A-Fib patients can deal with iron deficiency?”

Related Question: Can excess iron in the blood (Iron Overload Disease, IOD) cause Atrial Fibrillation? How do I know if I have IOD? What can I do about it?

7. Chelate: “What does ‘chelate’ or ‘chelated formulas’ mean when talking about vitamin and minerals? Is it important?

8. Magnesium: “Regarding Magnesium, can supplementing and restoring Mg to healthy levels reverse my A-Fib? I’m about to schedule a catheter ablation. But if supplementing can cure my A-Fib, why do an ablation?

9. CoQ10  “Can I take the supplement CoQ10 while on Eliquis for Atrial Fibrillation? On your site it says CoQ10 could be helpful. But on my bottle of CoQ10, it says “do not take if you are on blood thinners.

10. Krill Oil: “I’m interested in the supplement, Krill Oil, that has natural blood thinning properties. I’m taking Eliquis for my risk of A-Fib stroke. Is It OK to take Krill Oil along with Eliquis?”

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Return to Frequently Asked Questions


Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products

A-Fib Shopping Guides at

Resources & Links

Steve’s Shopping Guides to Recommended A-Fib-Related Products

Steve offers these shopping guides to help you sort through the enormous array of products of interest to A-Fib patients and their families. While the following brands and products are available from, they are also available from and other retailers. Prices will vary.

A-Fib Survival Kit for the Newly Diagnosed

Our list: Your first experiences with Atrial Fibrillation have changed your life in a number of ways. This ‘Survival Kit’ helps get you started when first diagnosed. As a former A-Fib patient (cured since 1998) Steve highly recommends these five items plus a bonus (our favorite medical dictionary).

Go to My ‘A-Fib Survival Kit for the Newly Diagnosed>

A-Fib Reference Books and Guides

Our list: For patients and their families, these are our recommended A-Fib reference books as well as books on patient empowerment, unmasking health statistics, magnesium, and other minerals and supplements, marketing schemes of the pharmaceutical industry and a medical dictionary. See also, our infographicMy Best A-Fib Reference Books for Patients and Their Families.

Go to My ‘A-Fib Reference Books and Guides’ Shopping Guide>

Magnesium & Potassium Supplements for A-Fib Patients

Magnesiu Elements SymbolOur list: Most A-Fib and A-Flutter patients are deficient in Magnesium (Mg) and Potassium (K) which can force the heart into fatal arrhythmias. To learn more, see our page on Mineral Deficiencies.

When choosing to supplement your intake of magnesium and potassium, the plethora of products and brands can be overwhelming. These are the products and brands Steve uses and recommends (plus a great book).

Go to My ‘Magnesium & Potassium Supplements’ Shopping Guide>

Seven ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart

Our list: Steve recommends seven mineral supplements to promote and maintain a healthy heart. (See our article, ‘Natural’ Supplements for a Healthy Heart.)  When shopping for these supplements, wading through the sea of products and brands can be a daunting task.

To get you started Steve has listed a couple choices for each of the following: BCAA+G, Taurine, Unbiquinol CoQH, GPLC, Omega-3 Fish Oils, Ribose and Hawthorne Berry.

Go to My ‘7 Supplements for a Healthy Heart’ Shopping Guide>

DIY Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs)

My list: Do you want to monitor your heart rate when exercising or when performing physically demanding activities (i.e. mowing the lawn, loading equipment, etc.). Consider a consumer ‘DIY” monitor. To learn more see my article: Guide to DIY Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) & Handheld ECG Monitors.

Steve has sorted through the plethora of products and brands of DIY heart rate monitors and recommends several in a range of prices and features.

Go to: My ‘DIY Heart Rate Monitors’ Shopping Guide>

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When you use our portal link to shop you are helping support (at no additional cost to you). Shop for anything, and your purchases generate a small commission which we apply to the maintenance costs of this website. Bookmark this link.

Return to Resources and Links

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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